All commercial and financial activities in the North west states of Nigeria remained unstable due to erratic power system. The Discoms in power distribution in the seven states blame each other and Government for this chaotic situation.
Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company and Kano Electricity Distribution Company supplying power to seven states in Nigeria could provide daily under six hours.It is alleged that there is huge amount of arrears from public leading these companies to bankruptcy though special task force supported by judicial officials and the police was formed to recover money.
The main causes are Power [energy] theft, meter by-pass and other offences. Power sector reforms come to a standstill due to poor collection of current charges. The Government has identified loss reduction, consistency and accessibility of power, metering, consumer contentment, fresh connection and network development, protection and public accountability as major focus point.
It is suspected that sky-scraping level dishonesty has showed the way to unsteadiness in the system, making customers to misplace trust in the Discoms.It is alleged that the situation keeps on to decline over the years, even after the sector was privatized. As the private companies failed to handle the state of affairs, even though at first they approach with new strategy to administer the Power sector.
It is expected that there may be some improvement if government could have the courage into enter renewable energy and compare with developing countries having substitute resource of power such as solar and wind energy .It is also alleged that the present projected billing scheme was often irrational, causing resistance between Discoms and customers.
The never-ending load shedding of electricity in the state is owing mainly to lack of collection of bills by power customers.In June 2019, N641.70 million [1.77 Million UDS] was unpaid and in June ,it was N534.905 million [1.5 Million USD] finding it difficult for Discoms to operate in debt scenario arised as consumers were not clearing up their electricity bills .
Pointing finger to the issue of liquidity being faced by this sector which refled in power sector development. The major reason being not following a cost reflective tariff as approved by the federal government earlier during the time of tariff review.Discoms buy electricity at N63:00 and sell at an average of N26:00; the difference is expected to be filled by the government leading Discoms to bankruptcy.
Another issue is the poor collection efficiency of around 30 to 35 percent and consumers are not bothered to pay even the reduced rate .The government has decided to refurbish the network with the help of Siemens Company of Germany.
Power theft is a major concern and regular electricity charge paying consumer has to pay the charges of electricity stolen by others.The discoms are trying to expose those pilfering energy but find it impossible to make it a success.
The prevailing rules permit the consumers to pay the same disputed bill for months together till the disputes are over. If you argument the bill of February , but paid the bill of January, you should pay the amount you paid in January awaiting when the difference is set on.Metering is yet another problem being faced by the Discoms.
However, majority of consumers are not satisfied with the pitiable and unpredictable power supply in the Kaduna State and other places in Nigeria, Saying all business is lost due to this. Consumers are unwilling to be sensitized to follow the metering scheme to address energy theft in some locale.
This is an impediment that thwarts the private sector from partaking in the growth of Nigeria’s electric generating industry.